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What do you stash your trash in???

Rodnak Kayak

Dec 19, 2007
Victoria, BC
OK, let the debate begin. I am a double bagger type of guy. We can go for a trip for 4-5 days,2 of us, and have less than a small kitchen catcher bag, including crushed beer cans. My paddling partner, AKA da wife... thinks a dedicated drybag for trash is the way to go, lined with a kitchen catcher.
Waddaya all do with your refuse? :?
Da 'nak
This is one thing I always forget to pack, a bag for the trash. Seems illogical to pack an empty bag, I really need to put it on my checklist. Because of this, I always just end up using whatever plastic bag I have on hand.
I don't have trash unless I pick some up. All food gets repackaged into ziplocks; the ziplocks get reused. If I take beer, it is in cans (possibly frozen), which are taken out.
Most food gets repackaged into ziplocs so the trash is mostly dealt with before I leave.

Organics like orange peels, egg shells, and used tea leaves (not tea bags) get tossed into the ocean or a handy bush well away from the campsite, taking care that the stuff is not visible.

Meal planning is done so there are no leftovers.

Toilet paper is burned and residue is buried. Sometimes, on trails where you are required to pack it out, or where there are fire bans, it gets carried out in a ziploc. This ziploc does not get reused...

Pop and beer cans get washed out then crushed. I usually have a plastic shopping bag to carry them around. If it is a short trip they only get a dent and are then stashed under the deck bungies. Wine bottles get washed out and taken home in one piece.

Any other trash gets stored in a disused ziploc and taken home to be disposed of. Usually all the trash for a trip fits in one ziploc.
Rod Stiebel said:
OK, let the debate begin.
Not sure why you think we need to debate things when a simple discussion will do.

I am a double bagger type of guy. We can go for a trip for 4-5 days,2 of us, and have less than a small kitchen catcher bag, including crushed beer cans. My paddling partner, AKA da wife... thinks a dedicated drybag for trash is the way to go, lined with a kitchen catcher.
Waddaya all do with your refuse? :?
Da 'nak
As with others here, I can go on a two week trip and come back with only a single freezer-size ziploc of garbage (or less). Wherever we can have a fire we burn what we can (including any tin cans, before crushing). We typically pack our meals in ziplocs, with the first empty ziploc becoming the garbage bag.

If you get rid of bulky marketing packaging before you go, you'll find that you've got little waste at the end of each day. Most of the time at the end of a trip our garbage is "dry" with little or no gooey stuff -- usually the bulk of the garbage is foil-lined packaging and plastic food wrappings that I won't burn in a fire.

The garbage bag is generally stowed on the deck of someone's kayak when in transit. When in places where animals are a concern, the garbage bag is hung on the food line.

I've seen others put their garbage in a lined dry bag but it does take up a significant more amount of space and once the dry bag gets a funky smell going, it's difficult to get rid of. My advice -- do a good job of meal planning and packing to keep your waste to a minimum, and carry it on the deck of your boat.

Yeah you can 'burn' the cans and burn the aluminium to get rid of the food residue. Just remember to remove all the cans and shreds of aluminium from the fire pit and take them with you.

There are worse things than finding a fire pit full of tin cans or aluminium residue but its high up on the list.

Ditto with burning the plastic. Particularly when I'm nearby. Nothing worse than inhaling a snort of your burning plastic toxic garbage. That one is higher on the list than pretty much anything.
Sign me up as another trash minimalist ... stripping extraneous packing and cutting out the instructions for noodle dishes, etc. At the end of a week-long trip, I usually only have a ziploc or so of trash, never much more.

Also, I'm a very selective burner of trash, usually limited to paper, cardboard, and similar cellulosic burnables. Of the various modern plastics, only polyethylene (e.g., ziplocs) and polyethylene terephthalate (e.g., soda bottles) can be burned in small bits in a hot fire without nasty smoke, but this seems hardly worth the bother, concern over carcinogens or not. PVC and other chlorinated plastics are particularly nasty, and I won't burn them under any circumstances. They are potent sources of dioxins. [Common plastics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic#Co ... s_and_uses ]

BTW, every combustion process produces carcinogens in smoke (including the burning of wood), with the "completeness" of combustion being inversely related to the likelihood of producing them. If the smoke is at all sooty, it will contain a stuffload of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, the very materials found in nicely charred steak, fish, etc.; this class of carcinogens unfortunately is one of the main types produced by burning. No smoke means very little cancer-producing material. It takes a really hot, well-oxygenated fire to avoid soot and smoke.
Good summaries of what to burn, if necessary.

One I use is: if you can see it or smell it, maybe you shouldn't be burning it.

Polystyrene is another nasty plastic in fires. Not just Styrofoam, but also clear hard polystyrene packaging (with a #6 inside the recycle symbol). I have found it with take out sushi and some other take out stuff.
Wow!! that is a lot of Trash talk! I never burn plastics, try not to take 'em, but some packaging does come with. I may be too lazy, or just feel I would rather bring home a bit of extra wrapping, if not to toast a ziplock. Also, I know you can, but sometimes, tossing orange peels in the water or whatever, does not look too pretty close to camp, when you have 20 or so campers on the same island ie the BGI for example. I realize you don't toss it out right at the camp beach, but... ??
So I am not out of line having about a 1/4 of a kitchen catcher of trash for a weekend trip, plus maybe 6 -10 pop/beer cans.
Whew, never knew I would get all ya up about a bit o' trash :yikes:
Anyway, muchos gracias for all your responses! :big_thumb
Yeah, polystyrene is another bad one to burn in campfires. Very sooty and nasty.

Rod, my son uses a simple rule for deciding whether "organic" debris (fruit and vegetable surplus/trimmings, etc., for example) is OK to recycle while out: if the plant could grow there, OK to bury it or similar. Of course, away from camps, and never in quantity. He's thinking of apple cores and the like. Others do not favor his approach.

Oranges and bananas don't grow in our climate, so we take all the leavings from them home.